Presenting his government’s domestic development agenda as completely in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a special summit of the U.N. on Friday that he came from a tradition that considered the entire world as one and the earth as our mother.
Reiterating the Indian position on climate change, the Prime Minister emphasised the concept of “common but differentiated responsibility,” which is part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In his 18-minute speech, Mr. Modi outlined the various development targets that his government has set, and how special measures were being taken to ensure that they were environmentally sustainable.
“The SDG mirrors India’s developmental goals,” the Prime Minister said. According to him, whenever nations have been united in dealing with a crisis, they have been successful.
“Seventy years ago, the U.N. offered a new hope for humanity. Today, the time has come for us to seek a new direction,” he said, calling for reforms in the U.N.
“The U.N. Security Council needs to be made more broad based in order for it to have higher credibility.”
Pointing out that removing poverty is the biggest challenge before the world, the Prime Minister said it was the collective responsibility of all to work towards a “world that is peaceful, a system that is just and development that is sustainable.”
Sustainable future can’t be won without tackling poverty: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invoked Jana Sangh founder Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya to argue that his ideal of antyodaya, or the uplift of the poorest, and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals were similar.
Addressing a special summit of the U.N., Mr. Modi listed the Indian schemes of financial inclusion, education and skill development, direct benefits transfer, and pension schemes for the vulnerable among the initiatives that would promote sustainable development in India.
He said, “It is not just about fulfilling the needs of the poor and upholding their dignity, nor about assuming moral responsibility for this, but realising that the very goal of a sustainable future cannot be accomplished without addressing the problem of poverty.”
Mr. Modi also introduced an idea of the “Blue Revolution,” which he elaborated as a special effort to preserve the oceans and ensure the sustenance and prosperity of island nations, particularly the smaller ones that face the brunt of climate change. “We are committed to a sustainable path to prosperity; that is rooted in our culture,” Mr. Modi said (The Hindu, 2015).